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Hey, Wal-Mart: These Are American Workers' Songs

Stocks in this article: WMT COST TGT

Lee Dorsey/Working In The Coal Mine

Five o'clock in the mornin'

I'm all ready up and gone

Lord I am so tired

How long can this go on?

Allen Toussaint understood how hard Americans worked when he wrote this in the mid-'60s. Enough folks identified with it when New Orleans' own Lee Dorsey released the song in 1966. How did it get overlooked by Wal-Mart?

It didn't. It just liked the lyrics better when it changed them a few years back to advertise its pricing policy. Workin' On The Rollbacks, Prices Goin' Down Down featuring a hard-hat-wearing smiley face knocking down prices on cheap, foreign-made goods played well in the 2000s, but sounded out of tune after the recession. Even bolstered by low employee wages and an overseas supply chain, those rollbacks still lost ground to dollar stores on the low end while being squeezed by fashionable Target and well-paying bulk retailer Costco on the high end.

It's still a good working tune, but may remind Wal-Mart of its continued, painful breakup with U.S. consumers.

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